mere Christianity

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I occasionally visit a couple of sites which have regular bashing of my ecclesial situation. It’s a healthy thing to do, not only because they also tend to have insightful religious commentary but because it’s quite eye opening to be on the other side of Christian religious judgment.

That being the case I am pleasantly surprised that one of these sites has a post today advertising the sorts of churches which I would find within my present ecclesial situation. Sure, they are in New York and not in Lake Arrowhead. Also, I most certainly would have my own opinions and judgments as I do about similar such congregations represented within the greater LA area (that’s Los Angeles, not Lake Arrowhead).

But still, this gives me a lot of respect for those who are willing to step out and see that Christianity released from the Law is not then to be beholden to newer and less Divinely mandated laws. There’s a reason why liturgy is not spelled out in the New Testament, and this reason is that we’ve been given many paths of response to the God who calls us and the Spirit who teaches us all things.

The other site I occasionally visit has among it’s recent considerations a long discussion on how gold goblets are the only kind suitable for the Eucharist. Which may be, and certainly is, important to a portion of society, but I think isn’t quite representative of the mere Christianity we are called to confess together.

First Things which makes no reservations about its Catholic leanings reveals itself to be quite open to the broader work of the Spirit, not without cautions but with a surprising willingness to discover and understanding the Spirit does in fact work in different contexts.

Too much of Church discussion has the character of crabby old men shaking their fist at the young ne’er-do-wells of the neighborhood, and promising not give them their ball back when they hit it into his yard. Such men often have a bit of justification, but also reflect an utter absence of joy and a complete loss of their own sense of discovery.

First Things reminds me now more of the kindly older man who throws the ball back, but later over ice cream happens to suggest to the kids they be more cautious about where they hit the ball, lest they sometime break a window or hit an old woman in the head.

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